When a person sends in a device to customer service for a repair, there is a certain amount of trust that is given by the customer. They trust it will be fixed. They trust it will come back in one piece. And in the case of a loyal Halo video game fanatic, he trusted it would be returned to him will all his memorabilia still intact! (Hat tip to bs angel at Hawty McBloggy , who gets full credit for the info on the story details and these images.)
Nathaniel is a fan of the Halo video game franchise created by Bungie. When he purchased his XBox 360 (pre-ordered it!), he started taking it with him to get autographs from the folks involved with creating his favorite game. He had accumulated quite a few autographs from the gaming studio and the XBox 360 team, in addition to some artwork from notable gaming artists, which were written in black permanent ink directly onto his gaming console (see photo at top for a view of some of the goodies he had on there). Notice I keep using the word “had”. Nathaniel’s beloved XBox 360 console stopped working, and although he debated about it, Nathaniel sent it in to Microsoft to have it repaired.
To ensure his valuable console would be returned unscathed, he called customer support at Microsoft to see if they could promise to protect this decorated casing. They said they wouldn’t harm it and would return it the same way it came to them. Not convinced, Nathaniel also included a letter with his XBox 360 when he sent it in asking that the technicians be careful not to smudge the artwork. He additionally requested that if the inside of the console needed to be replaced, would they please be so kind as to return his original case with new innards.
Well, Nathaniel did get back his original case (the serial numbers match his original one), but it was wiped completely clean. No autographs. No cool artwork. Only a few hints of permanent marker remained where previously there had been treasured memorabilia. To read the full story, you can go over to Hawty McBloggy, who documented the letter that Nathaniel sent and the results in this first post on the subject.
Now hang in there with me, Customers Rock! readers, because even though this story took a negative turn, the ending totally rocks!
Nathaniel was crushed, as you can imagine. The Hawty McBloggy blog decided to help him share his story with the gaming community to make sure none of them got stuck like he did. At the time, all of Nathaniel’s questions to Microsoft were going unanswered. The gaming community, however, rallied around Nathaniel – there are over 700 comments to bs angel’s original story on this!
Heroes to the Rescue
Bungie Studios, the creators of Halo (and their most recent version, Halo 3), also heard about what happened. Even though they weren’t remotely responsible for this error made in console tech support, they wanted to do something about it to help make it right. Only a few days later, a huge box arrived on Nathaniel’s doorstep – absolutely stuffed with cool Bungie “swag”. Bungie is well known by the gaming community for treating their fans like royalty, but this one must be a record, even for them! Here is a list of what he received (documented by bs angel):
Included in the Halo swag bag were :
- Legendary Edition Helmet signed by most–if not all–of the studio staff (see photo)
- Halo 3 Soundtrack (two disc) signed by Marty O’Donnel (with “DO NOT ERASE!” written under his name)
- Bungie Jacket
- Bungie T-Shirt
- Halo 3 Messenger Bag
- Two Halo 3 Limited Edition Wireless Controllers (one covenant, one human)
- Halo 3 Faceplate and Skins for Xbox 360
- Four McFarlane Action Figures (MC, EVA Spartan, Brute Chieftan, Jackal Sniper)
- Halo Actionclix Preview pack (Target exclusive sticker on the front)
- Halo Actionclix Game Pack 4
- Halo 3 Wall Graffix
- Halo 3: Ghosts of Onyx Novel
- Halo Graphic Novel
- Halo 3 Wristband
- Halo 3 Hackeysack
Nathaniel was overwhelmed by their generosity and the support of the whole gaming community. Here is his reaction:
“And finally, to the staff of Bungie Studios: I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support that you have lavished upon me in the aftermath of the release of my story. Long have I known of your dedication to your fans and community, but I find this single act of kindness mind boggling. Apart from the fact that a few of you had signatures adorning my console, you had no involvement in what occurred. As such, you have far surpassed any response I could have anticipated. I don’t think I could ever repay you for this.”
This unexpected response from Bungie totally rocks!
The Community’s Response
Yes, Bungie Studios now has a fan for life in Nathaniel, and in his friends I’m sure, as he will be spreading the word far and wide. bs angel’s blog has also helped to spread the word – both the sad saga as well as the happy ending. There are over 200 comments to the second post detailing the “swag” sent by Bungie, and most of them are Bungie fans saying how cool the company is for doing this! Here are some sample (verbatim) comments:
bungie rocks. i’ve never seen a company so in touch with their fan-base before.
Just more confirmation why we all love Bungie so much.
It would be a massive boon to society as a whole, if somehow most of the corporate world would follow Bungie’s lead. They seem to always give back that huge amount of extra.
Good Job Bungie.
Handled like a company that appreciates its customers.
Class all the way.
It’s little gestures like this that make a good business truly great.
More companies need to do more things like this. The world is losing sight that back in the day “mom and pop” shops would do things like this all the time.
And these comments, folks, are only a few from this gaming community. Bungie just created a huge list of raving fans by how they responded to this incident.
How did Bungie do it?
- They were listening to their customers, using social media.
- They had previously built up a strong community (see their website for forums, insider information, and an open and honest attitude including Bungie podcasts, photos, and webcams!)
- They decided to “do the right thing”, even though they were not the ones in the wrong (the console manufacturer made the error, not the video game studio)
- Bungie has prioritized customers as a critical success factor for their business – and has acted on it.
Clearly, Customers Rock! for Bungie Studios. Way to go, Bungie!